“Crisis moments create opportunity. Problems and crises ignite our greatest creativity and thought leadership, as it forces us to focus on things outside the norm.” – Sam Cawthorn

Our industry is in crisis, with the coronavirus pandemic shutting down events across the globe and preventing travel. Many organisations are making their resources on how the business events and tourism industry can weather this storm freely available. We are sharing them here, along with other information that we think may be of use to professionals working in these industries. 

If any of your questions have not been addressed here, please submit them to pippa@independentwriting.co.za and we will do out best to answer them for you.


Please do not forget to get your information on COVID-19 from reputable websites, to ensure you are well informed. We highly recommend sacoronavirus.co.za and who.int.

Cancelled, postponed or going ahead

Find out which local events have been cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis, and which are continuing with their planned dates.

This listing will be kept up-to-date, so please refer back for possible event changes over time.

COVID-19 Funding relief

This digital toolkit is aimed at helping business owners by navigating available business support as of 12 May 2020 in South Africa. Click here to access it now.

COVID-19: Useful contact details

Official Toll Free Call Center (24 hours): 0800 029 999

Official WhatsApp Help Service: Send HI to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp or share this link

New health and safety protocols for MICE events

The Event Safety Council (ESC) is a special interest group within the South African Communications Industries Association (SACIA) that represents industry professionals active in the event health and safety industry across Southern Africa. It is tasked with developing these Re-Opening Guidelines on behalf of the South African Events Council (SAEC), which have been created and are available here.

COVID-19 Protocols for Tourism Industry Operations

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) has released work-in-progress protocols on how the tourism industry can operate while ensuring the safety of its staff and consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can download them here. Comments are welcome.

UFI shares a global framework for reopening exhibitions

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has published a structured framework for the reopening of exhibitions. It outlines how exhibitions can resume business, safely and responsibly, and argues for political support to ensure this can be done in a timely manner. Download it here.

COVID-19 Good Practices Guides for convention and exhibition centres

AIPC, the International Association of Convention Centres and UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition industry, have released two guides for convention and exhibition centres: a guide to health and operational challenges specifically relating to the current COVID-19 outbreak; and best practice guidelines on using such venues as temporary emergency facilities during pandemics and other disasters.

Good Practice Guide: Addressing COVID-19 Requirements for Re-Opening Business Events

Most countries around the world are starting to relax lockdown rules, and business events are preparing to resume. However, first they need to ensure that they can put adequate measures in place to protect their staff and participants. To help achieve this, AIPC, ICCA and UFI have come together to produce a new global guide which is freely available to the industry. 

Good Practice Guide: Addressing COVID-19 Requirements for Re-Opening Business Events V2

To support the resumption of these events, AIPC, ICCA and UFI (G3 Partners) have released another global guide to bolster confidence in customers and visitors that business events can be held safely. The report includes 12 mini case-studies and learnings from events which successfully took place around the world over the past few months.

SAACI coronavirus member communication

SAACI, the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry, has a section on its website with news and resources relating to the impact of COVID-19 on the conference industry.

SATSA coronavirus updates, news, FAQs and more

SATSA is the Southern African Tourism Services Association. It has a coronavirus information page which is updated regularly with useful information and advice for the inbound tourism sector.

COVID-19 Content Centre (CCC)

COVID-19 Content Centre (CCC) was developed as a resource to help businesses in Cape Town and the Western Cape navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes a PPE marketplace, best practice business recovery strategies, business support toolkits, and clarity on travel and lockdown regulations.

Managing your mental health during the COVID-19 crisis

Michelle Nortje is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Johannesburg. She recommends everyone takes the following steps to proactively managing their mental health during lockdown, and in the wake of the aftereffects of COVID-19.

HR advice in a time of crisis

Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, and an expert in preparing people and companies for the future of work. The Planner Guru spoke to him for his advice on how employers and employees can best navigate the challenging conversations that need to take place about COVID-19 and its impacts.

The Small Business COVID-19 Survival Guide

Marnus Broodryk is an entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of The Beancounter, an accounting firm that helps small businesses turn their accounting system into a powerful business tool. He and 27 439 other small business owners have put together a free guide with 90 ideas to help SMEs and entrepreneurs survive an endemic.

A sanitising service for your premises

With the unfortunate ban on all events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Event Synthesis has launched a new business venture as agents of Yanilia. This enables them to distribute sanitation products, disinfectants and protective gear for businesses, and facilitate site sanitation and disinfectant projects at all places of work (schools, office buildings, factories, warehouses, workshops, restaurants and business premises).

Free COVID-19 health & safety standards for your tourism, hospitality or retail business

CoronaSmart has launched a range of health and safety standards for four sectors: accommodation (e.g. hotels, lodges and B&Bs); business events; restaurants and food service; and tourism transport. Each standard addresses the risks specific to that industry. They are available for free, and can be downloaded from: www.coronassmart.com

Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19

The World Health Organisation has released a set of guidelines on how best to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, and how to manage COVID-19 risk when organizing meetings and events.

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